Has anyone used this key for an extended period of time? It looks like a nice little substitute for the now-gone pico paddle but I’m a bit concerned over the copper “paddles” and how they hold up in a backpack over extended use.
For me so far so good, but certainly not an extended period yet, although even when I don’t use it I take it on every hike as a backup to whatever I’m using that day.
The only ones I can say I’ve used for an extended period is the AME (which did have issues after a while, meaning over a year) and the Picopaddle (still no problems).
I’m so bummed I didn’t get into CW until after these went out of production.
Which AME did you have? The Ultra Porta?
I use them for my regular (~ once/week) SOTA activations. I love 'em. Lightweight, well made, nice easy feel. You will need to protect the paddles in your backpack. Even just a small foam padded box/bag should be good enough because yes, you don’t want anything snagging on the copper hoops and bending them out of shape.
I have attached an old bicycle helmet strap to mine and strap them to my leg to operate. This requires placing a small piece of foam under the front of the paddles to left them slightly off my leg.
They are surprisingly durable, as in, over many activations, never had a problem. Those little springs, for want of a better name, come in various sizes. I have used smaller ones to make my own much lighter versions. Made one with the wiring sandwiched between two smalls strips of cocobolo wood, and attached to the side of the MTR3 with magnets. Below is a photo of another. This one is built into a dental floss case, and plugs into the key jack. The small metal wedge above the plug slips into the seams in the case of the MTR3 so it won’t rotate in use.
73, Fred kt5x (aka WS0TA)
Yes, great product. I have the regular portapaddle from AME.
Yes. I have used Te Ne Ke for a couple years and I like it. It has a slightly different touch but you get used to it in minutes. It’s a nice positive touch. (I also use a Mini Pico).